What a whistle stop tour of the world’s fashion capital! It doesn’t seem like we’re spending such little time in each city (my blistering feet are testament to this fact). I also can’t believe that it was around 24 hours ago that I was writing about Florence!
So Milan it is. I’ve always been a little fascinated with the city after hearing of the glamorous fashion shows and imagined it to be a very chic city (I love chic, it’s my favourite style although I am definitely not chic in personality!). To our surprise we were very taken aback with the stark contrast to the beautiful cities we recently left. The train station is such a grand establishment yet it’s surrounded by high rise modern buildings.
Our (Hilton) hotel was a stone’s throw away from the station which we chose because we knew we’d only be there for a quick stopover. Never have I slept in such a comfy bed! If it wasn’t for the fact that I have no room in my suitcase (and oh yeah, it’s illegal) I’d have stolen the pillows and duvet… This was the most expensive hotel on the trip but it was about the same in whatever hotel we looked at in Milan.
So last night we ventured into the historic centre to find the Duomo and fancy fashion quarter. We found the Duomo (how can you miss it?!) and wandered through the Vittorio Emanuelle II arcade but were ravenous at this point. When I’m that hungry I’m incapable of making decisions and my housemate hates making them full stop. So we settled on a (monstrous) sandwich and ate it under the watchful eyes of the Duomo’s marble Gothic statues. What I did notice was the unmistakeable style of the Milanese women. Their chic clothes, flawless make-up and killer heels made them stand out quite significantly and made me feel like a real ragamuffin. Even the homeless were clean and well dressed, but this does not make up for the fact that even when surrounded by such wealth, they still went from bin to bin, scrounging what food they could, left by tourists whose eyes were too big for their bellies.
Following on from this we decided to look around the shops but had no idea which direction to go in. So we wandered. And wandered. And shopped in what could have been any shopping street in England. It wasn’t until much later on that we finally found the chic shops (behind the Duomo) which had the same shops but just in cooler, older buildings with more modern lighting and snootier staff.
All in all Milan was a must see, but we’re glad we didn’t spend more than a day because really it’s just a city with nice shops and a Gothic cathedral. Maybe it just didn’t stand a chance being sandwiched between Florence and Venice? Who knows, but I do know that it’s time to move on to a Venetian vaporetto!
Interrail tip #3: check if a reservation is compulsory for your train! We managed to get through without one yesterday but made sure we got one today at the train station (cost €10 each but ticket guy was striiict so good thing we booked one!).